Palmengarten – Friday week 2

Still no news from Sue at Palmengarten and none expected until Monday. But people are very obviously interested in the botanical art exhibition in the Palm House in Frankfurt. For those SBA members and associate members who sent in work for this exhibition, there is a lot of positive feedback from your pictures shown on this blog.

The Palmengarten exhibition title is ‘Poisonous and medicinal plants’. An item in the news today was very much in keeping with this and also a reminder as to the properties some of our beautiful plants actually have. It means that we can still see their beauty in our gardens, but some of these plants need to be treated with respect. That is where it is important to find out what we have in our gardens.

Apparently an inquest has heard about the death of an experienced gardener on an estate where there is Aconitum – common name ‘Wolfsbane’. There seems to be a possible association between tending the garden, symptoms and the death of the inividual concerned (you can tell I have worked with environmental exposure statistics – slightly different wording to the newspaper).

A quote from today’s Independent paper:

Tom Wells, from the Chelsea Physic Garden, said to the Times that wolfsbane was one of the most dangerous plants found in Britain’s gardens.

“The roots are where the highest level of poison is found, although it is still found in the flower,” he said. “If there were cuts on his hand, it would enter his bloodstream and affect his heart very quickly.”

In severe cases the poisoning causes heart arrhythmia, paralysis of the heart and respiratory problems. Other symptoms include vomiting, dizziness and diarrhoea.

We have three pictures of Aconitum in the Exhibition and I will highlight only those pictures in this blog.

Artwork by Eiko Takano. Title: Aconite napellus - Monkshood (watercolour)
Artwork by Eiko Takano. Title: Aconite napellus – Monkshood (watercolour)
Artwork by Caroline Jackson-Houlston. Title: Aconite lycoctonum - Wolf's Bane (watercolour)
Artwork by Caroline Jackson-Houlston. Title: Aconite lycoctonum – Wolf’s Bane (watercolour)
Artwork by Yuriko Kojima. Title: Aconitum japonicum - Torikabuto (watercolour)
Artwork by Yuriko Kojima. Title: Aconitum japonicum – Torikabuto (watercolour)

I wish that I had been able to take the photos without the reflection on the glass, because in reality all three pictures are very beautiful and the style of each artist is completely different.

Go and see the exhibition at Palmengarten, the botanic gardens in Frankfurt. It is well worth a trip.

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